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Repairs continue on Conway church

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>The Rev. Candi Ashenden stands in an office where mold was removed from the United Congregational Church of Conway.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    The Rev. Candi Ashenden stands in an office where mold was removed from the United Congregational Church of Conway.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>The United Congregational Church in Conway now has an improved roof with a small roof extension, to prevent snow from piling up along the edge of the building, and copper roof flashing. The tip of the steeple has also been replaced with copper to prevent water leakage and restore it to its historical character.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    The United Congregational Church in Conway now has an improved roof with a small roof extension, to prevent snow from piling up along the edge of the building, and copper roof flashing. The tip of the steeple has also been replaced with copper to prevent water leakage and restore it to its historical character.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Mold abatement in the kitchen of the United Congregational Church of Conway.

    Recorder/Paul Franz
    Mold abatement in the kitchen of the United Congregational Church of Conway.

  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>The Rev. Candi Ashenden stands in an office where mold was removed from the United Congregational Church of Conway.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>The United Congregational Church in Conway now has an improved roof with a small roof extension, to prevent snow from piling up along the edge of the building, and copper roof flashing. The tip of the steeple has also been replaced with copper to prevent water leakage and restore it to its historical character.
  • Recorder/Paul Franz<br/>Mold abatement in the kitchen of the United Congregational Church of Conway.

CONWAY — The United Congregational Church hopes to bring back Sunday service to the church by September.

On Whately Road, the white historic building has gone through a few changes since it closed in November 2011. The church now has an improved roof with a small roof extension, to prevent snow from piling up along the edge of the building, and copper roof flashing.

The tip of the steeple has also been replaced with copper to prevent water leakage and restore it to its historical character. And grading work along the lawn and window wells were added to carry rain water away from the building.

The inside work will begin this month. The walls will be replaced and the plumbing and electrical work will be done. Mold affected the building’s studs and required the walls to be removed. This portion is scheduled to be finished by June.

The project began one year ago to help deal with water leakage and mold buildup brought on by Tropical Storm Irene.

As the church worked to repair leaky roofs and moldy walls, it held Sunday worship at the Conway Grammar School.

The church improvements have held up so far this winter.

“All of these things, in the last few snowstorms, have succeeded in preventing water filtration,” the Rev. Candice M. Ashenden said.

The church’s efforts to raise money for repairs was given a boost in May when the townspeople approved $100,000 in community preservation fund money.

The total repair costs, however, amounted to $450,000, which the church is paying through endowment money and private donations.

But with a small deficit, the church isn’t out of the woods yet. With the building closed, the dilemma is the church does not have a facility to hold a fundraising event. Until this year, the church has held pancake breakfasts and an annual fair that nets $1,000.

Donations are helping to cut the deficit, Ashenden said. So far, it has received $15,000 in donations and wooden tables from the local firemen’s auxiliary.

It has also started a campaign inviting people to donate money in exchange for a memorial brick that would be added to the walkway leading to the church. Every person who donates $100 to the restoration would receive a gray brick in his or her name.

“We’re fairly optimistic we will move back in September,” Ashenden said.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:
kmckiernan@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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